June 14, 2013

Half baked

Coles supermarkets are selling bakery goods as ''freshly baked'' even though they were made up to six months earlier in Europe.

Croissants, danishes and muffins are being shipped frozen from Germany, Belgium and Denmark.
Janet Blythman, the head of the National Baking Industry Association, said a range of baked products from overseas would be shipped snap frozen. It would take a minimum of 10 weeks to reach Australia from Europe, she said. In its frozen state it would have a maximum shelf life of six to 12 months.
Because there's no one local - on this continent - AT ALL - who can whip up some muffins, or Danish pastries, or 'artisan' breads that would be priced less on the shelves than the cost and resulting price of freezer storage and 10 weeks shipping?

Hard to beat freshly baked goods that are only six months old 


  1. Nothing new, here, Caz..

    Several years ago I got into a conversation with the girl in the bakery at Woolworths, who told me those delicious fresh baked blueberry muffins had their origins in Belgium.

    This scam has been going on for years in these supermarkets.

    Beggars belief!

  2. No, not new, but look how long it took the ACCC to bother doing anything.

    It took Jeff Kennett (you'd know our Jeff?) carping about it in public before the ACCC were embarrassed into action.

    Now that's pathetic.

  3. Indeed!

    Makes you wonder what other hidden surprises lurk in our supermarket aisles.

    Groceries are still not being correctly labelled. I have to check the labels because certain colourings get Mark really hyper. As does, for instance sulphite, a preservative used in dry apricots which stops the colour from turning brown..

    He was not a happy camper when I had to cut out the dried apricots. Won't eat fresh ones. :(

  4. Anonymous3:36 PM

    Try drying fresh apricots in the oven Kath - all you'll get is dried fresh apricots, and no shit.

    It's a funny old world, the more and more we process food the more and more expensive it becomes and (usually) the less and less nutritious.

    That said snap freezing does have it's benefits.


  5. Hey thanks, Justin. Will give it a whirl when apricots are in season again. :D

  6. Given that just about the only thing Coles management would care about would be the price of the product they're buying and the amount of profit they can get from it, you'd have to assume that yep, Irish/European/continental producers of these products really have found a way of undercutting local markets. (Bought 'em in bulk? Product dumping?)

    I don't care much if something is local or not, but I'd have to admit that anything you find on the 'Down, Down, Prices are Down' shelves at Coles has pretty much lost any exotic cache that it could have got by being sold as 'Fancy European pastries' or whatever.

    Made some (fresh! local!) croissants myself a week ago. Mmm mmm, surprisingly relatively easy and successful, and it's probably best to make this stuff in winter. Here's the recipe I used.

  7. Croissants not often on the home baking list, I don't believe. I think some practice might be needed to get it just right, as with any baking.

    Woolies is about to build a couple of factories so they can bring more pre-packaged meals to the already over fed and under nourished Australians who can find time to shop, but not to cook.

    Bang goes real food or flavor. Will sell, sell, sell. At a premium.

    Have you ever checked the price of buying sliced mushrooms? Friggin' unbelievable!!! Takes a few minutes to slice up a few veggies, but people are prepared to pay up to $15 a kilo extra for the pre-cut stuff.

    When did we get this stupid?

  8. I know! Everytime we go into the supermarket there's more pre-packaged nonsense on the shelves. We noticed the other day a 600 ml carton - like those sorts you get milk in - of 'Omelette with fetta' and a similar of 'scrambled eggs'. Prepackaged scrambled eggs, wtf! (Scrutinising the ingredients of both, we noticed a lot of 'egg white', nearly no yolk - maybe it's a way for producers to get rid of excess egg white once the yolks have been extracted for mayonnaise).

  9. I'll do croissants again; I'm encouraged by this initial attempt. They were pretty easy but I'll need to do a bit of fine tuning. My main problem was with rolling up the dough into the croissant shape, funnily enough. Also made the mistake of greasing the trays (they have enough butter in them already and some got burnt bums).

  10. Arrh - prepacked scrabbled eggs! They even come in egg shaped and egg sized packaging, which is disturbing in every way you care to think of. Imagine lamb chops packaged in little cows, or veal in mini-lambs. What about lettuce wrapped in lettuce-patterned plastic, so that consumers can be absolutely confident that they're buying a lettuce?

    Modern children, and even adults, are now so divorced from the food chains that (used to) nourish them that it's becoming bizarre. Orwell may have predicted Big Brother, but he didn't warn us of the march of non-food. I know this isn't new, it's just more alarming.

    Have to admit to enjoying Macca's soft serve, even their milkshakes, but otherwise am finding myself eating more real food than in the past. 'Real' in the sense of not processed. If it's in it's natural state, I figure it's okay. Fruit, meat, veg, nuts. (Or 'protein' and 'components', as Masterchef insists.) It's not a consumer rebellion; it's my natural reaction to being urged to eat bland stuff with dubious nutritional value, and bears no resemblance to its source.

    Yes, my main concern reading the croissant recipe was trying to figure out the folding and rolling instructions. There must be 300 YouTube videos for that.

    1. Psst, veal is baby cow...

      I hate buying anything in the shops that's "Thawed for your convenience"!

  11. The folding! Yes I almost came unstuck there, but I'm confident I'll do it better next time. As usual with these things, experience is by far the best teacher.

    A little story did the rounds on the net a while ago, not sure if it's true, but it said that Margaret Thatcher was among the team of scientists who discovered how to make soft serve. So every little soft serve you eat.... is helping defeat communism. Or, you know, not. It could be complete nonsense.

  12. Dang! I like the idea of defeating communism with every soft serve cone (and a cheap war, at 30 cents a pop), but it's not true.

    Soft serve was invented - by accident, not design, as with most of the best things - in the US, before Thatcher entered the picture.

    "Thatcher's precise role at Lyons is unclear, but she is reported to have worked on the company's ice cream products, as well as cakes and pies. A common anecdote in British left-wing circles is that by inventing soft serve ice cream, Thatcher "added air, lowered quality and raised profits."

    This was only after Lyons bought another company already making soft ice cream, and years after being available in the US, so Maggie didn't invent anything ... that we're aware of.

    Good thing too. Might have put me off my ice cream.

  13. Wow!

    All these years - and I love my veal - I've always thought veal was baby lamb ... now how did that thought take hold?

    Good grief!!